The discussion between ActionAid delegation and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa high level leadership took place on the 1st of Nov 2016 in the premises of the latter. This great opportunity could pave the way for productive partnerships between the two organizations.
The delegation including six country directors and policy staff representing ActionAid spent half day with Economic Commission for Africa officials briefing each other on organizational priorities and looking into common agenda for partnership engagements.
Abdalla Hamdok United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Executive secretary, Stephen Karingi Director of Capacity Building Division and Officer In Charge for Regional Integration and Trade Division Director, Thokozile Ruzvidzo Director Social Development Policy Division , Adam Ellhiraika Director Macroeconomic Policy Division, Fatima Denton Director Special Initiatives and Ingrid Cyimana Director Strategic Planning and Operational Quality Division, who was accompanied with Mr. Marlon Lezama Chief of Partnership. ActionAid was represented by 6 country Directors from Senegal, Rwanda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and host Ethiopia and the Africa Advocacy Officer and Tax Power Campaign Manager from the International Secretariat. The two teams interacted on the roles of the respective institutions and underlining agenda for common engagement. The Executive Secretary underscored the importance of partnership with organizations like ActionAid where we have clout to advance and support the policy analysis function of the Economic Commission for Africa to the AU and the member states and other actors. He suggested moving forward the two organizations should have a memorandum of understanding to formalise joint engagement.
What emerged from the discussions was the fact that both institutions have their strengths and comparative advantages from ActionAid being a Human Rights Based Organization that is rooted with communities and working with people living in poverty, the ECA prides itself as one of the most credible Pan-African organizations that serves as a think-tank and knowledge hub for the continent.
On common grounds and areas that resonate as key entry points for possible collaborations, they range from Land and Agriculture, Governance, Illicit Finance Flows and Domestic Resource Mobilization, Climate Change, Mining through the Artisanal Small-scale Mining, Gender, Migration, Developing data and statistical capacity especially on the gender markers amongst others.
It is also important to also recognize the involvement of the ECA during the just concluded Kilimanjaro event as they have sent a high powered delegation from the Director Social Development Policy Division and staff of the Land Policy Initiative. This clearly indicates that the collaboration has begun albeit informally.